Watching Point 36
From 500 Watching Points by Gilbert Carpenter
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36 — WATCH lest you fail to discriminate between Love as the infinite good reflected by man, of which man is the full expression, and the human misinterpretation and misuse of it. If you permit your concept of love to become darkened through the material sense of it which you see in the world, you may become so prejudiced against it, afraid of it, that you fail to cultivate it as a spiritual quality derived from God. If the human perversion of love seems so obnoxious that you endeavor to crush out or repress all tender affections, you may throw overboard the very thing most needed for your salvation, since love is truly the link between the human and the divine.
When you see one misusing love, or personalizing it, remember that he is heavenly homesick and yearning for God; but because he does not know this, he accepts a human substitute. If the Master did not condemn Mary Magdalen, but healed her by feeding her famished affections spiritually, Christian Scientists should not condemn one who has suffered enough from his mistake to be ready for divine Love.
If the top of a tree has been bent over into the ground, so that it is growing down instead of up, you do not kill the tree or cut it off. You pull the top out of the ground and leave it free to grow toward the light. If a girl accepts an imitation diamond ring as an engagement ring, you do not condemn her honest desire for a husband — you warn her to be more watchful, lest she be deceived by another scoundrel again. Mrs. Eddy, in the application of her teachings, was not afraid to manifest the deepest and tenderest kind of affection toward her students; but she sternly rebuked error of any sort. When she found immorality in a student she wrote, Jan. 19th, 1884, “I asked you to try teaching, but when I took your pupils I found your mental influence, not your words, had done them an injury that I could not repair at once. Your sensuality and untruthfulness have their effect, although you think them out of sight.” Again on Aug. 25, 1898, “My precious student, for God’s sake and the sake of the Discoverer of C. S. cleanse your mortal thought of all that you would not have reflected and see in the lives of your students. Good healers are the only good teachers. A musician must sing or play well and is judged by his performance, not by his blab. Science is practice, proof, not a profession, neither high-toned wit or philosophy; these are but apologies for its absence, if they possess not the spirit that heals both sickness and sin.”